Monday, August 31, 2009

Region 5 Championships.......Moving In Part 2

Part 1

Getting the yearling colt into his new stall was another thing. He'd never seen portable barns before and the way the sun was shining that stall must have looked like a black hole ready to swallow him up. He planted his feet at least five feet outside that doorway and refused to move.

I teach all of my horses to go forward. That's my basic for just about everything. If I can get them forward, I can get them into and through just about anything. The way Rhet was looking at this new stall might just test this theory to its limits.

I swatted Rhet lightly on the hip with the popper on the end of his lead rope. The colt didn't even flinch. He just stood there locked in some kind of trance staring at the black hole. I'm pretty sure by now he'd totally forgotten I was even there. All he could think of was what might be lurking in those shadows.
Me, all I could think of was the heat radiating off that sand. Leave it to Rhet to decide to be obstinate on a day with record breaking temperatures. I needed to get him into that stall before the heat claimed me as its victim.

The last thing I wanted was my concern about the heat to affect this horse. He already had his own ideas about the stall without my tension over the heat adding to it so I took a deep breath and tried not to think about the sweat already running into my eyes.

I also thought about Harvey Jacobs. What would he do to get this horse into the stall. Maybe a little bit of pressure on his face might also help moving this horse forward. Since my early work with Rhet involved a lot of "giving" to pressure, he might be "receptive" to that kind of request.

So I asked Rhet again to enter the stall. This time I tapped him with the popper and at the same time applied some pressure to the lead. This time, at least, I got a look from the horse. He didn't go in but he was aware that I wanted something. That was a good place to start. I decided to use that on build on it so I rewarded the horse with a release.

The next time I asked him, I used a bit more pressure both from behind and on the lead. This time the horse took a small step forward and was immediately rewarded with the release of pressure. That release was followed by a big sigh and before you know it, I had Rhet in that stall.

However, that wasn't the end of it. As quickly as the horse went he, he exited. I didn't even have a chance to turn around and he'd already vacated the premises.

It was time for another deep breath from me before I asked Rhet to enter the stall once more. I also took advantage of the shade in the stall for just a minute to wipe the sweat from my face before I returned back out into the sun.

Rhet stood there outside the stall looking at me in the stall like I was some kind of crazy (then there are those who would tell you that crazy I am). The colt seemed to be quite interested in why I was still standing in that dark hole. Maybe it wasn't so bad in there after all. The next time I asked Rhet to enter the stall, he walked right in and this time he stayed. Although he wasn't sure how he felt about me closing that door on him.

To be continued................

Settling In......Rhet's Way

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  1. I know you'd never resort to such a low trick, but mine would have been begging to come in that door ... if I had a cookie.

  2. Good on ya, Rhett!

    Whew, he's challenging, isn't he?

    Still...he's gorgeous, I guess he has a right to have some attitude.

  3. Leah, I have to laugh at the thought of bribing Rhet. Have you forgotten he thinks he's a king? LOL He's way too aloof to accept treats from a commoner like me.

    Fantastyk Voyager, yes, you're right. He is challenging.....I never know what to expect. And he is most definitely worth it. His quirky personality is beginning to grow on me. Despite the difficulites, I am really falling in love with this colt.

  4. Like you MiKael, I would (and have) enjoyed the egotistical antics of one like Rhet. He sounds delightful now that he is learning some basic rules!
    Can't wait to hear how the rest of the show went!